Yuu Sasih's Reviews > Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
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Jul 29, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: about-life, adult, fiction, romance, psychology, favorites
Read from June 26 to 28, 2012

When I was wandering around Times bookstore for inspiration seeking, I found this book on one of their shelves and without much ado, I'd immediately buy it.

Well, It's HARUKI MURAKAMI, my Literary God! How do you expect me to behave when I found his works ON PRINT !

So yeah, gonna throw my other currently-reading books aside and will absorb into this one.

BECAUSE IT'S HARUKI MURAKAMI!!


Finished review (28/06/2012):

As I said before, this could be a biased review because I, plain and simple, adore Haruki Murakami's work. So, even though some of my friends told me that this could be less interesting than The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, my first Murakami experience which sucked me right in and happen to be his best work they said, I fail to notice it. Because for me, this story still resembles Murakami that I like and it still gives me a great reading journey.

Norwegian Wood was told with a voice of Toru Watanabe, a straight-serious-ordinary college student who felt detached from the real world after his bestfriend, Kizuki, commited suicide in their senior year of high school. He run from his past in Kobe to Tokyo and tried to adapt into a campus life there to no afail, Kizuki's death has got half of his life too. In Tokyo, he reunited with Kizuki's long-term girlfriend, Naoko, and through their mutual lost over Kizuki, Toru's feeling toward Naoko has changed into his first-and-hopeless love.

But even after his change of feeling, things still cannot flow smoothly for him and Naoko. After their first time sleeping together, Naoko suddenly dissapeared from Toru's life, retreated alone into a mental institution so deep in the mountain due to a serious depression case. Once again losing someone he loves, Toru struggled again through life, trying to reconnect with the real world. Through the prescense of Naoko's roomate, Reiko, ever-playboy senior Nagasawa, and later on through a sexually-liberated junior named Midori, he learn about life and death, observing about human and relationships, contemplated about his feelings, while at the same time tried to hold on a last fragile straw of his relationship with Naoko.

I should say that this story was pretty much dark and depressing, even though there's a bit of brightening here and there with Toru's interaction with Nagasawa and Midori--espescially Midori, that smartass girl!--but over all, the story's aura was so dark. With no happy end, too--yeah, you HEA sucker, there's not one for you here. Its theme mainly simple, about coming-of-age tale and triangle love and such, but Murakami caught the situation af coming-of-age time in Japan pretty much vivid, where many teens failed to survive the real world and choosed instead to commit suicide.

And there're many, many suicide in this story I half expecting all of the characters would end up in suicide. (which, thank GOD!, it didn't happen!)

What I love the most about Murakami's work was his way to let his stories flow. Everytime I read Murakami stories, it was always like being thrown into a surrealistic world and we watched everything in a smooth flow, like a calm river. Even scenes that supposed to be erotic--which is, plenty! You'll read it as a surreal and spiritualistic, like watching sex being brought into a higher level that almost divine.

The secondary characters are great, too. No, wait, I wouldn't call them secondary characters, it doesn't fair for them. It's more like Toru as a main character is a blank page, and through all others characters Murakami filled him, be more human as the story progressed. So no, I won't call them secondary characters. Every character was unique, with their own ways of thinking; like Nagasawa's conquest to a real work (in which he think other people's work was just a manual labor), Reiko's experience toward bisexuality, and Midori back-to-base and simple way of thinking. And every bit of philosophical comments they uttered, it was delivered with Murakami's unique sense of humor--I always laugh hard when Toru and Midori interacted.

The ending was unresolved, much like the other Murakami's work. I really wish for Toru to end up with Midori, though, since he deserve the happiness he couldn't get with Naoko (not a spoiler, no, for we know from the beginning that Toru and Naoko just wouldn't work). But with those few last line, though? Well, let's just pretend that Toru did end up with Midori.


A great reading journey. Obviously 5 stars.
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Reading Progress

06/26/2012 page 49
13.0% "If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. - Nagasawa"
06/26/2012 page 103
27.0% ""You'll die with me?" Midori asked with shining eyes.
"Hell no," I said. "I'll run if it gets dangerous. If you want to die, you can do it alone.""
06/27/2012 page 227
59.0% "Sometimes a very good book is same as a bad book: You can't finish it in one sitting. You'll need to stop once awhile and reflect about everything you'd read."
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